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Windows server hostname character limit

Posted on 2013-11-04
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Last Modified: 2013-11-04
Greetings,

do you know the reason for the limit of 15 characters for a Windows hostname?

Thank you,
JohnD
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Question by:johndarby
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8 Comments
 
LVL 15

Assisted Solution

by:Giovanni Heward
Giovanni Heward earned 250 total points
ID: 39622907
NetBIOS, in order to be compliant with RFC 1001 and 1002.

See http://support.microsoft.com/kb/909264
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LVL 6

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by:ZamZ0
ZamZ0 earned 125 total points
ID: 39622924
That is the nature of NetBIOS. It was created with that limitation (actually 16, MS takes away a character).

Kind of like why were PCs limited to 16 or 32-bit when now 62-bit are commonly available. Or why were ISA expansion slots limited to 16/32 but not PCI.
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Author Comment

by:johndarby
ID: 39622946
Thank you; I had read that article earlier and there was no rationale given for the 15 character limit. Am I missing something?
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Giovanni Heward earned 250 total points
ID: 39622954
Your probably just missing the fact that many vendors come together to agree upon a given standard, in order to (theoretically) be compatible with each other.  These agreed upon standards are incorporated into RFC's.

In other words, NetBIOS host names were designed to be limited to 16 characters, with 1 reserve character.

http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd891456.aspx
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LVL 6

Expert Comment

by:ZamZ0
ID: 39622956
That is just the standard that was created at the time when NetBIOS was created. Like why you can only have X number of characters on a license plate.
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LVL 83

Assisted Solution

by:Dave Baldwin
Dave Baldwin earned 125 total points
ID: 39622979
The usual reason for things like that is "Nobody will ever need more than that."  And why would you?  Need, not want.
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LVL 1

Author Comment

by:johndarby
ID: 39623206
Thanks everyone...I had been searching for deeper meaning, but alas, you have popped that bubble :)
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Author Closing Comment

by:johndarby
ID: 39623213
Thanks folks!
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